Breaking up is hard to do

Love is in the air – at home and in the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden. At home, Mourning Doves on a wire signal their return to the nest they use season after season.


In the Memorial Garden, the Killdeer have returned to the same spot we marked for them last year. Can you spot the egg?


These monogamous birds pair year after year; they share parenting duties, forming strong bonds. We often receive such bonded pairs of dogs at Homeward Bound; we go to extraordinary lengths to place them together. Sometimes, it simply becomes impossible – as was the case with our Brutus and his beloved Sierra.


She was sweetness and grace; all adopters were drawn to her. Her Brutus was of a different class. He was her big, rough and ready guardian; a lovable clod who, through no fault of his own, was never taught the simple basics of civilized behavior.


At some point, we were simply holding her back. Once the decision was made to allow them to separate, she quickly found a forever home. Heartbreaking as it was to break them up, it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for our friend, Brutus.


With the opportunity to devote one-on-one time to him, he has made amazing progress. Simple things that we take for granted, are giant steps forward for Brutus – like returning a ball instead of eating it…


“look at me” –


and “leave it.”


But these are the things that will help people to see the magic in our boy who just needs a little attention and love.


Breaking up is hard to do. For Brutus, we hope it pays off soon in his very own forever home. One thing we are sure of: he has proven himself both loyal and true.

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I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

16 thoughts on “Breaking up is hard to do”

  1. How are they both adjusting to their new separate life. So sad, but hopefully they will have time for themselves. He seemed to always be watching out for her. They had a hard life being parents – right? Maggie wishes them the best. Please keep us updated.

    1. They bred many litters and my understanding is that they were kept outside. Thus, the need for one-on-one. He was so focused on her, that it was difficult to provide that. It’s sad to break them up, but they may both be more successful that way. Maybe they can visit someday at the Reunion Picnic! ❤ Wouldn't that be sweet?

  2. Animals can have learning issues too. Brutus just needed individualized instruction to learn at his own pace.
    We recently acquired a cat that has Hyper Active Chaotic Attention Disorder. 🙂

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